On August 20, 2001 my first son Benjamin rocketed into the world. As he drew his first breath at 2:50 PM and wailed at the indignity of being expelled from my uterus, I wonder if, hundreds of miles away, a college student named Dave felt something stirring within him. I can’t be sure. School was just starting for him. Parenthood was probably the last thing on his mind.

But on that day, Dave became a parent. He just didn’t know it yet.

Two years later, in January of 2003, his first child, Benjamin, a nearly-mute 2-year old reached up his arms and allowed Dave to pick him up. It was a rarity for Ben to allow someone he’d just met minutes beforehand to hold him. Even more rare was that he bonded with him instantly. Two hours later, safely in my car, he spoke his fourth sentence. “Aw…bye, Dave.” Over and over, he repeated that, sighing sadly after every repetition.

Like this:

“Aw, BYE DAVE….*sighs*”


“Awwwww….BYE DAVE…..*sighs*”


On September 10, 2005, my son Benjamin walked me down the aisle. At the alter, Dave spoke his vows first to our son, then to me. The child who is not related–by blood, at least–to my husband, he is the one who is most like The Daver. Always has been.

March 30, 2007, Benjamin Maxwell became a big brother to Alexander Joseph. Dave slumbered on through my labor thanks to a migraine, but was there by my side to watch as his second son came into the world. Angrier than a wet cat, Alex met his father by peeing on him. I found it apt, considering I would have dragged my numb ass over to kick DAVE’S sleeping ass, had I been able to.

Alex was, as he always is, on my side.

On January 28, 2009, our last child came into the world surrounded by chaos. The girl with curls like a halo (who kicks ass), Amelia Grace, she cast her big brown eyes upon us and nothing has been the same.

Today, April 15, 2010, at 1:45 PM we said goodbye to that part of our lives. No more will we welcome more children into the world, but we will help our children grow and learn about this crazy, mixed-up, wonderful world that we live in.

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little heartbroken to see Dave’s vas deferens sitting in those jars, sadly separated from his body. Not because I want any more children, or because I’m unhappy with the decision that we made. It was time to put that part of our lives to bed.

So I’m going to take a quote from my then-two-year old because I don’t know how else to end this bittersweet day.

Aw, bye, vas deferens.

95 thoughts on “Paternity

  1. I wish I was your child…for the simple fact that my mom is nowhere NEAR this hilarious…

    Wanna adopt?

  2. A snipping is in my husband’s future (soonish, but not right now) and I think I will feel a little wistful about it too. The end of possibility, I guess.

    And then I’ll have a little too much to drink and get started on a life time of non-baby making naughty time. Looking forward to that.

  3. LOL did you have services? or keep the jar? I think at that point in my life, I like to think I will celebrate with joy, good bye birth control! Oh and my condolences to the Daver

  4. This is for the Daver. I was smoking a cigarette on my porch when the neighbor’s dog walked up to me with a sad look in his eye. He’s just gotten neutered. I patted him on his head. “What’s the matter boy, you miss your balls? *Puff* Yeah *Exhale* I’d miss my balls too.”

    Here’s to not losing your balls Dave.

  5. Your stories of The Daver with Ben always make me cry. Dammit. I have the same relationship with my stepfather (though it was formed at a much later age), and I feel SO lucky. I’m happy that Ben gets to feel what I do about his Dad. 🙂

    I’ll pour one out for Daver’s vas deferens. And my homies.

  6. Haha! That’s the most engaging vasectomy story I’ve ever read… which isn’t to say I’ve read many….

    Just that yours is the best so far 🙂

  7. Aunt Becky, this post had big fat sentimental tears rolling down my cheeks…until I got to that last sentence. Awww, bye vas deferens! Now I’m about to roll out of my chair laughing. Cheers to you and the Daver and the brood. You guys are awesome.

  8. we had decided before we got married that we weren’t having children (we meet in 03 married in 06) we were lucky enough to meet some folks who’d had them done here and they are free in Canada so we got right on it. i like children, so does my husband, we simply do not want any of our own.
    still wasn’t the easiest decision and i can see how it would be even harder for people who want a lot of children.

  9. They put that stuff in jars? I thought they just disconnected them and left ’em hanging?

    As my friend’s husband opines, there’s nothing like an ice pack on the balls! (He had a vasectomy, a reversal, 3 kids, and another vasectomy)

  10. I love you. You made me cry and then laugh in the same post. Kick ass.

    Dh got the big snip-snip in August and it’s still a little difficult for me to come to terms with, even though it’s what we bother wanted.

  11. Yep, it’s the right thing to do. You were basically pregnant for three long years. He was uncomfortable for about 20 minutes.

    But yeah, I hear you…sometimes, my uterus weeps.

  12. “sigh”

    Seriously, you kept the jars? You guys rock. I cannot help but laugh. (I too thought they just snipped, cauterized then left them dangling)

  13. Only you Becky, could write about a vas deference in a jar and make me get all weepy. Only you.

    As I will be bidding the same adieu to my husband’s VD (and no, not a “VD” like disease VD…) I have the very same sadness at the door closing. For many reasons, so many reasons.


  14. Damn it, woman, you just melted my stone cold heart and made me smear my eyeliner. Now I have to go listen to The Cure and cut myself.


  15. A poem I found for Dave.

    Congratulations on your vasectomy..

    You’re having no more children, for that your wife says thanks, there’s no reason not to practice and start shooting all those blanks.

    Author, unknown funny person.

  16. Damn! I didn’t get to see Brad’s vas deferens when he had his V. But then, I didn’t go with him because I had 2 kids under 2 to take care of & no babysitter.

    Which had NOTHING to do with him getting the V

  17. You made a vasectomy sound like some sort of love story. I will have a moment of silence for the ole vas deferens. My motto for children is “one and I’m done” so good for you guys braving three. I hope the Daver recovers quickly and doesn’t give you too much shit.

  18. this is a beautiful post. just lovely and you made me cry…

    i hope for you that this next phase in your life is as rewarding and special as your babymaking years have been.


  19. Goodbye, vas deferns.

    I love how you can write and make just about anything touching. Totally reminded me of the “good-bye, clearance puppy” line from Marley & Me.

  20. BWHAHAHA! I don’t think you’ll regret it. You know what you want and what’s best or you wouldn’t have done it.
    Have you seen the “poem” I did in my last post? It refers to John’s… ball adjustment, in a roundabout way. 😉

  21. damnit aunt becky…..you’re making me cry again…..and laugh…..at the same time……some people might call that crazy….but girl, you sure know how to turn a phrase.

  22. I can’t think of anything else other than the Vasectomy Song as done on Family Guy. I mean, really. I can’t think of a better way to describe it than with a barbershop quartet.

  23. Awesome post. The Man is scheduled to get snipped this summer, since we have four children between us and we do not want five.

    I love hearing about Dave and Ben, since I am about to become a stepmother and I am scared shitless that somehow they will a)hate me, b) loathe me, and c) defy me.

    No reason – they are lovely children. But still I worry. Thus The Daver gives me hope.

  24. aw bye vas deferens. as someone else said on here…hello worry free humping!

    your children are beautiful little gifts. 🙂

  25. I am laughing uncomfortably while reading this. Laughing because it is funny but feeling bad for Dave. Hang in there dude, well not so much hanging but well, ya know…

    Sadie at heyMamas

  26. The father of my children had a vasectomy when our second child was about three months old. And then we split up. I had the old tubes tied but then less than a year later had to have a hysterectomy. Believe it or not, when I chose to stop the baby making machine I was happy about it. When the entire factory burned to the ground, I wasn’t nearly as comfortable with it. I knew then as I know now that the two children I had were all I wanted but… BUT… if I had not had myself neutered/spayed or whatever it’s called for people… I would have had more babies. Sometimes we have to think with our heads while our heads are still clear in order to save ourselves from acting with our hearts later on. While it will always feel like you lost something, you did the right thing and having risk free romp time will help you get over it. Have fun 🙂

  27. Someone mentioned frozen peas as medicinal assistance. Are we going to hear about all of the other aid rendered? Although my husband wussed out (which is putting it kindly . . . he actually fainted during the informational meeting and never worked up the balls to follow through), we did hear that some sperm is live and active for a while after the vasectomy. The nurse’s suggested solution? Oral assistance until all of the live sperm had been flushed out.
    But even that news was not enough to rouse my husband from his prone position and into action.

  28. It is bittersweet isn’t it? Helena is our last also. No more cooking crotch parasites for me 😉 Hope all goes well!

    Also, I tagged you on my latest post 🙂

  29. Awwwww… as someone who has dealt with children who have autism I recognize that was HUGE. WOW.

    How did you know that Daver was The One? It was that story right there.

    Me, all I had to rely on was the fact that my dog, who does NOT lick strangers jumped in my hubby’s lap and licked his face the first time they met.

    You get this amazing, awe inspiring experience. I have my dog.


  30. Aunt Becky!!!! You made me cry at work!!!! Now how do I explain to my classroom full of 14 year olds why my eyes are brimming!!! What an amazing little window into your world you’ve shared. Thanks again.

  31. This must be the only vasectomy story that could actually make me cry. Having four kids, but only two of them planned for, I completely understand the need to put that part of life behind, but we still could not make a permanent cut like you did….bravo

  32. I was all teary over this story because it sounds so much like my own….and then you got to the snipping part! Lol. So didn’t see that coming!

  33. I know the Daver’s pain.. But as has been pointed out once or twice it does not stop you from ever having another kid. Adoption, surrogate, clone, reversal, or my favorite harvesting of sperm from the testicles for Invetro. More painful than getting the darn tubes snipped. Also during my divorce I left my tubes in the medicine cabinet for my soon to be ex wife hidden behind some stuff that I knew it would take her a while to find them.. MUHAHAHA!!

  34. I love the love between Dave and Ben. It reminds me of my oldest daughter and my husband. I think that Mack was Robin’s daughter before I decided that I liked him enough to be her Dad. A great post.

  35. I will have a moment of silence for The Daver’s vas deferense.

    P.S. You know the lovin is so much more fun when it’s no longer a game of Russian Roulette. Plus, no need for any of the baby blocking accoutrements makes it cheaper.

  36. I loved this post so much that I read it out loud to my husband.
    who also loved it!

    You really are a talented writer, Becky. Just loved this:)

  37. I understand…completely.

    We have 4 incredibly healthy, perfect children and we 100% don’t want any more, so I had my tubes tied. But….I can’t stop feeling just a tiny bit sad that it’s done. That era of our life, which started only 10 short years ago, is done. We are done with pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, anxious deliveries, painful recoveries, sleepless nights….we’re even done with diapers now that Little Girl is nearly 3!

    I’m glad it happened and I’m happy to move on to the next phase….NO MORE BIRTH CONTROL!

  38. I am jealous. Depsite watching me almost die giving birth to our last child, my hubby refused to get a vasectomy. Whenever I brought it up, he would make the cringey face, and I would remind him that I had to get blood after our daughter’s birth. Didn’t work though. Pussy.
    The story about your wedding made me tear up. Dave is a special guy.

  39. I know the feeling. We decided. The deed was done and then you are left wondering if it was the right decision even if you are ultimately beyond certain it really is. Now is the time to pause. Seriously. be careful. Cause now is the time you are most likely to get pregnant again. Just saying 🙂

  40. We had to make this decision last year, not bc we don’t want more, simply bc we can’t afford more. And while neither of us had to have surgery, (yeah girl sex rox!!), it’s still kind of sad when that final decision is made…

  41. That was totally badass.

    I feel ya, I do. I would have ten kids if they two I already have weren’t kicking my ass. I recently went off my IUD and everyone keeps asking me if we are “done” having children.

    I can’t answer. I think we are. Maybe. Not sure.

    DAMMIT, I’m probably going to have another baby.


    I hope Daver’s crotch is feeling better.

  42. I love this post – as someone who has seen the best examples of paternity by biology (my husband) and paternity by marriage (my awesome dad), I know what a powerful, important thing being a father, and being fathered, can be.

    I am now resisting the urge to google images of “vas deferens.” I’m sure I don’t want to know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *